Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Triumph of the Rajput: Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the fascist aesthetics of Padmaavat

Buy Article:

$14.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat (2018) re-tells the legendary tale of the Rajput queen Padmavati. In recounting this tale, Bhansali hews to the historic, Manichaean dichotomization of Hindu and Muslim, presenting Rajputs as entirely noble figures and Muslim invaders as essentially barbaric. Employing Susan Sontag’s and Frank Tomasulo’s theorizations of the cinema of Leni Riefenstahl, this article examines how Bhansali glorifies the Rajputs’ purported history via his fascist aesthetics. Such an approach rearticulates history as myth and presents it as a form of theatre. This article analyses Bhansali’s use of such aesthetics to reenact the Manichaean framing of Hindu–Muslim relations, which reaffirm contemporary chauvinistic formulations of the (Hindu) nation. In the process, Bhansali’s film can be seen as lending support to the ideology of contemporary fundamentalist Hindu forces.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Bollywood; Hindutva; Leni Riefenstahl; Padmaavat; Sanjay Leela Bhansali; fascist aesthetics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Sonoma State University

Publication date: January 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Studies in South Asian Film and Media (SAFM) is the most promising new journal in the field. This peer-reviewed publication is committed to looking at the media and cinemas of the Indian subcontinent in their social, political, economic, historical, and increasingly globalized and diasporic contexts. The journal will evaluate these topics in relation to class, caste, gender, race, sexuality, and ideology.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Intellect Books page
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more